The next revolution in care and wellness for children
Embodied, Inc. is an industry leading robotics and AI company creating state-of-the-art companion robots to revolutionize human-centric care and wellness by enhancing quality of life for individuals and families.
Through extensive research, we have developed a new platform, SocialX™, that provides a way to use natural human interaction to engage with technology. The first iteration of this technology is Moxie, an animate companion for children developed to help promote social, emotional and cognitive learning.
We are passionate and mission-driven
We are continuing to build an amazing, high-performance team that works hard to innovate, collaborate, and solve complex challenges in order to serve our company mission and goals.
We are bold in our vision, relentless in its pursuit, and excited to be discovering new ways to provide positive impact to the families we serve. We are committed to our mission not because it's easy but out of a shared boundless optimism that together we will put a dent in the universe.
We believe there is no obstacle too difficult to overcome.
Who We Are
Paolo Pirjanian, Ph.D.
Founder / CEO
NASA scientist turned robotics entrepreneur who has helped create technologies for many products ranging from the Sony AIBO to the iRobot Roomba. Former CTO at iRobot and CEO at Evolution Robotics.
Chief Financial Officer
Finance executive with a focus on strategic planning and analysis and building teams & processes for growth. Former VP of Finance at Age of Learning for 5+years helping close $300mm in funding. Previous finance roles at Legalzoom, Activision Blizzard, E&Y and KPMG.
Nikki Hurst, OTD, OTRL
A passionate child development expert with the highest credentials from University of Southern California and many years of hands-on practice focused on supporting neurodivergent children in achieving their goals and aspirations.
A research specialist with a background in education who has developed and managed research studies in the healthcare and technology sectors.
Head of Marketing
A seasoned marketer and entrepreneur that has led marketing teams from direct-to-consumer businesses to international marketing in home entertainment.
Mario Munich, Ph.D.
Chief Engineering Officer
Computer vision scientist transformed into a roboticist with a passion for building innovative products sold by the millions. Former SVP R&D at iRobot and CTO at Evolution Robotics.
Chief Product Officer
Seasoned product strategist with a track record for growing technology start-ups and launching innovative robotic products in B2B and B2C markets. Former VP Product at Brain Corp and Head of Product Development at WowWee.
Our Team of Advisors
FOUNDER / EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, XPRIZE FOUNDATION
Recently named by Fortune as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders,” Peter H. Diamandis is the founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, which leads the world in designing and operating large-scale incentive competitions. He is also the executive founder of Singularity University, a graduate-level Silicon Valley institution that counsels the world's leaders on exponentially growing technologies. As an entrepreneur, Diamandis has started over 20 companies in the areas of longevity, space, venture capital and education. He is co-founder of BOLD Capital Partners, a venture fund with $250M investing in exponential technologies, and co-founder and Vice Chairman of Celularity, Inc., a cellular therapeutics company. Diamandis is also a New York Times Bestselling author and is described by many as “the best and most dynamic speaker in the industry.”
Founder / President, The Kidvocate Group, LLC
Donna is the Founder and President of The Kidvocate Group, LLC with nearly three decades of experience in the education and entertainment industries. Donna received her Ph.D. in Education and her Masters in Special Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She spent several years developing and evaluating curriculum at the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center then joined the staff at WQED, Pittsburgh's public television station as Director of Educational Services. At WQED, she met and worked with Fred Rogers, creator of the long-running program "Mister Rogers Neighborhood" and helped him develop the original “Mister Rogers Plan and Play Book.” This project was one of the forerunners of the PBS Ready to Learn initiative.
Deputy Director, UCLA Institute for Precision Health
Clara Lajonchere, PhD is the Deputy Director for the UCLA Institute for Precision Health, and an Adjunct Professor of Neurology. Dr. Lajonchere’s research has focused on disorders affecting the central nervous system, with an emphasis on psychiatric genetics and translational medicine. She has held several academic and leadership positions including Director of the NIH Center for Genomic and Phenomic Studies in Autism at the USC Keck School of Medicine and Vice President of Clinical Programs for the science and advocacy organization, Autism Speaks. Dr. Lajonchere has worked in the field of autism for over a decade. She was the Chief Scientific Officer for Cognoa, Inc., a digital healthcare company, and has consulted for several tech start-ups in the autism arena focused on artificial intelligence, robotics, and targeted therapeutics.
Professor Psychology, University of Pittsburgh
Jeffrey sits on our advisory board to ensure that Moxie’s emotions and expressions were as helpful to children as possible. Jeffrey is Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Intelligent Systems at the University of Pittsburgh and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He leads interdisciplinary and inter-institutional efforts to develop advanced methods of automatic analysis and synthesis of facial expression and prosody and applies those tools to research in human emotion, social development, nonverbal communication, psychopathology, and biomedicine (Google Scholar profile). His research has been supported by grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Autism Foundation, Office of Naval Research, and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) among other sponsors.
Yves is a design entrepreneur who believes that product, digital and brand design are cornerstones of any business. He is the founder of fuseproject, the San Francisco-based design and branding firm he established in 1999. He is also the Co-founder of start-up August, a next generation home entry system. His other collaborations with renowned partners such as Herman Miller, GE, Puma, PayPal, SodaStream, Samsung, Issey Miyake, Prada and many others have received international acclaim. Béhar’s works are included in the permanent collections of museums worldwide, and he is a frequent speaker on design, sustainability and business topics.
President/Chair of Oklahoma Licensure Behavior Analyst Board
Annie is the Executive Director of the National Center for Disability Education and Training (NCDET) at the University of Oklahoma Outreach, an adjunct faculty at the University of Oklahoma, and the President of the Oklahoma Licensed Behavior Analyst Board. With a PhD in Special Education with an emphasis on Applied Behavior Analysis, Annie has spent several years working with Autism Speaks, public schools, and parent support groups to promote policy change and build the capacity of educators working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum Disorders. Throughout her career, Annie has helped to empower families with neurodiverse children in schools, homes, and clinical settings.
Chairman Of The Board at Steinberg Institute
Thomas R. lnsel, M.D., a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, has been a national leader in mental health research, policy, and technology. From 2002-2015, Dr. Insel served as Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). More recently (2015 – 2017), he led the Mental Health Team at Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) in South San Francisco, CA. In 2017 he co-founded Mindstrong Health, a Silicon Valley start-up building tools for people with serious mental illness. In 2020, he co-founded Humanest Care, a therapeutic online community for recovery. Since May of 2019, he has been a special advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom and Chair of the Board of the Steinberg Institute in Sacramento, California. Dr. Insel is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and has received numerous national and international awards including honorary degrees in the U.S. and Europe.
PH.D., MACHINE LEARNING SCIENTIST
Stefan Scherer is the former CTO of Embodied Inc. Prior to joining Embodied, as a faculty member in Computer Science at the University of Southern California (USC) and the Associate Director of Neural Information Processing at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), Stefan led a successful academic career pioneering multimodal machine learning and affective computing research with applications focusing on wicked problems in healthcare (e.g., depression or suicide risk assessment) and education. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense. Stefan has co-authored over 100 publications and has been featured in international media such as The Economist, The Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, Wired Magazine, and the Guardian.
MD, FAAP, CEO OF HAPPIEST BABY INC.
Dr. Harvey Karp is one of America's most-trusted pediatricians and child development experts. He is on the faculty of the USC School of Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Karp practiced pediatrics in Los Angeles for over 25 years. His landmark discoveries and unique ability to translate complex science into effective techniques to empower parents have revolutionized our understanding of the needs of young children. He is the founder and CEO of Happiest Baby, a smart-tech and parenting solutions company that invented the SNOO Smart Sleeper, a responsive bassinet that mimics the sounds and motions of the womb to extend infant sleep by 1-3 hours.
Chief Scientist, Didi Chuxing
Kevin is a world-renowned leader in natural language processing and machine learning, among other engineering disciplines, joined our advisory board to consult on all of Moxie’s technology, particularly conversational flow and machine learning. After a long academic career (USC), Kevin Knight is currently the Chief Scientist for Natural Language Processing at Didi Chuxing.
SVP, Studio R&D Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering
Jon is an American technology expert who is currently the Advanced Development Studio Executive SVP at Walt Disney Imagineering. He was the co-founder Big Stage Entertainment and has served as director, CTO, CCO and CTO in various technology/media firms.
Founder and CEO of stealth AI startup
With more than 20 years of expertise in bringing cutting edge technology from academia to market, Hassan Sawaf is well-recognized in the field of applied science and machine learning, with applications in machine translation, speech recognition, computer vision, natural language understanding and dialog, process optimization, and other fields.